Winter weather is in full swing here, which is very depressing to me. I absolutely detest winter time. In fact if I were a full-time freelancer, I’d probably only leave the house during winter time to get groceries once a week. Other than that, I’d stay inside where it’s warm-ish and cozy-ish. (I say “ish” because I’m pretty cheap when it comes to heating my house in the winter. It’s actually only warm if you have on sweatpants and a hoodie or lap blanket.)
Here in the midwest, we have the luxury of experiencing all 4 seasons of the year at their fullest. We have a true winter, spring, summer, and fall. Temperatures get pretty extreme during both the winter and summer months and believe it or not, they can have a fairly large impact on your finances.
How does winter affect your finances? I’m glad you asked.
– Heating and Energy. I tend to spend more on utility bills in the winter, even when compared to the hottest months of the summer. Apparently it costs more to run my furnace to heat my house than it does to run the A/C to cool it. I combat high energy costs by making sure my home is sealed and cracks are filled. I keep the front door shut as much as possible to hold in the heat and I keep the thermostat set pretty low. I also use a programmable thermostat so it’s cooler at night (when I’m in bed) and when I’m gone during the day.
– Home Entertainment. Because I hate the cold, I tend to not want to leave the house once I’m home for the evening. I also stay home more on the weekends when it’s cold or nasty outside too. This does tend to make me spend a bit more on home entertainment since I’m cooped up at home more often. I try to utilize my Nextflix subscription as much as possible since it costs the same amount no matter how much you use it each month. I also like to read books that I’ve had sitting on my book shelf for quite a while. I do occasionally give in to a pay-per-view movie (very rarely) and a delivery pizza or Chinese (a little less rare).
– Going Out. Again, I don’t hardly leave the house during the winter except to go to work. This means I spend a lot less on eating out with friends and socializing. I try to convince my friends to come to my house as much as possible so I don’t have to get out in the cold to go to their houses when we do get together. 🙂
– Gasoline. As long as gas prices don’t skyrocket around the holidays, I typically spend a bit less on gasoline during the winter months. I hate driving in bad weather and avoid it at all costs. I also try not to schedule any long road trips, though this year I am going to see my BFF mid-January.
How does winter affect your budget and spending? What are some things you spend more (or less) on during the winter?